Question:

Good day. I never realized before. I wish I knew Him so much closer and understand His plans better. I never really realized how great He is. I have so many questions. I know we do sin each and every day, but I would like to know more when I am giving advice to children on what is sin and have to give them an answer. Please guide me. Should the best answer be follow the Bible? I have to confess I told a child that looking at pornographic movies was sin and then found myself the following evening to fall into very sin. It was so stupid of me. I needed advice on my problems and had to look it up. I did feel bad afterwards because I didn't put it in Jesus' trust. I know I am still young and inexperienced and still have to avoid a lot of pitfalls. Thank you for your advice or just being there to listen.


Answer:

"Brothers, even if a man is caught in some fault, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself so that you also aren't tempted" (Galatians 6:1).

You are always welcome to ask questions and the door is open for any to come and study.

It has always been a danger when teaching others about the dangers of sin to fall into the same trap. Satan is devious and in this case can use God's law against us. The problem lies in our thoughts. If I told you not to think of a pink elephant, the first thing that pops into a person's mind is an elephant. The fact is that you must think of something first before you can categorize it in your mind as something wrong.

"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead. I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. The commandment, which was for life, this I found to be for death; for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me" (Romans 7:7-11).

Paul acknowledged this problem. He stated that stated that when he was young, he was of such a nature that he would have never thought of coveting. However, as he grew up, learned God's law, and learned that coveting was wrong, he now struggles with temptation to covet. Thus in learning what not to do he exposed himself to thinking about sin, which gave Satan an opportunity to tempt him.

Always the best answer is to follow God. There is no other way people can get to heaven. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11). But you must also given a clear answer as to why God's way is best, and that too can be found in the Scriptures. "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15).

Knowing why something is wrong or dangerous will help you as well in your struggles against your sins. You are mistaken slightly on one point. The Bible teaches that we all sin (Romans 3:23; I John 1:8-10), but it does not state we all sin daily. The goal of the Christian life is to become stronger so that sin becomes less frequent.

"Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. Whoever remains in him doesn't sin. Whoever sins hasn't seen him, neither knows him. Little children, let no one lead you astray. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God doesn't commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can't sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn't do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn't love his brother" (I John 3:4-10).

This is not as clear in English as it is in Greek, but John is not contradicting himself by saying Christians cannot sin. He is saying Christians cannot stay in sin because their desire to serve Jesus pulls them out.

Think of it this way. A wicked person is never totally wicked. Even the most vile person will do something right or good once in a while. But we don't call him righteous because that is not his nature. He returns to sin. Similarly even the most holy man, outside of Christ, whom we can imagine still slips in sin occasionally, yet we do not call him wicked because that is not his nature. He turns from his sins and returns to righteousness.

In regards to struggles with pornography, read "A Look at Pornography" for information on why pornography is dangerous and sinful. If you have questions about these or other matters, please write. I would be happy to help in any way that I can.